Archive for Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Siedlecki vows to try to get funding for SRS offices, but didn’t include it in his budget

October 12, 2011


— Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services Secretary Robert Siedlecki Jr. says he will work to get the state to pay the overhead costs of the Lawrence SRS office, but he hasn’t requested that money in his budget.

“We are going to work with the Legislature,” Siedlecki told members of the House-Senate Oversight Committee on Home and Community Based Services this week.

When asked if he had requested that funding in his budget proposal submitted to his boss, Gov. Sam Brownback, Siedlecki said he hadn’t.

“Not for this year,” he said. “We have two years to work with the Legislature. We promised to make a good-faith effort,” he said.

Sen. Carolyn McGinn, R-Sedgwick, chair of the committee, said some may question why Lawrence is “picking up the tab” and not other towns that have SRS offices.

The issue stems from SRS’ decision in July to close nine local offices, including the one in Lawrence, which was by far the biggest of the planned closures. Siedlecki and Brownback said the decision was a cost-cutting move.

Officials in Lawrence said shutting the SRS office would have created havoc in delivering social services to thousands of residents.

The city and county then agreed to pay $450,000 to the state to keep the office open for two years. That will cover rent, utilities and other costs. Some other towns made similar deals.

Under the agreement, Siedlecki promised to try to get adequate state funding in fiscal years after July 1, 2013, to keep the Lawrence office open.

Siedlecki said he will be glad to meet with legislators during the next session, which starts in January, to start to determine that funding.


frank mcguinness 6 years, 7 months ago

Would somebody just punch that guy in his face. Please.

johnnyreb 6 years, 7 months ago

I'd like to see someone try it. He is a Harvard trained Ninja! Total bada$$ that has no fear!

somebodynew 6 years, 7 months ago

I guess Brownie chose him for a reason. And, I guess we have to live with it unfortunately.

Don Whiteley 6 years, 7 months ago

Come on, Lawrence, get with the program! If we don' t have an SRS office on every block, we're screwing someone by making them travel further than they have to. Let's get busy and drum up the money, don't worry that a very large number of people in our city aren't working.

Getaroom 6 years, 7 months ago

Make your voice even more distant please - like gone!

Evan Ridenour 6 years, 7 months ago

This guy needs a legal adviser. "Good faith" effort isn't met by not even trying. This would be a good time for the city to wise up and withhold payment. This is a slippery slope and we have only taken one step down it, time to scurry back up before Lawrence taxpayers end up paying for every single state mandated expense.

madameX 6 years, 7 months ago

Look on the bright side: once everything the state used to pay for is pushed off on the city and the county, maybe we can just secede.

OldSoldier 6 years, 7 months ago

Siedlecki is a puppet for Brownback, so what does that tell you? "We" stands for himself and Brownback. Brownback is actively undermining the Kansas tax code to push more expenses on cities, counties, and other locals. They he can brag how he reduced state taxes. That's the definition of "work with the legislature."

Cant_have_it_both_ways 6 years, 7 months ago

Why do we need an office in Lawrence. There are free computers at the library and everything is going online anyway?

voevoda 6 years, 7 months ago

Because the on-line interface for SRS isn't even set up yet. Because many of the people who most need SRS services don't have computers and/or don't know how to use them. Because SRS needs to check up on claims, and most of that work needs to be done in person. Because we have a sufficient population in need of SRS services that the Lawrence office is always busy. Because closing the Lawrence office doesn't actually save the taxpayers any money.

Jan Rolls 6 years, 7 months ago

Both ways is obvious ignorant on the subject. I suggest you spend a day in the srs office and learn something. Don't even try and understand that a lot of poor people don't have their own transportation. Are you willing to transport them to and from the library - thought not. Try learning about a subject before commenting.

chootspa 6 years, 7 months ago

To be fair, the SRS office is within walking distance of the subsidized housing unit over on 18th and Haskell, but that's beside the point. All the forms aren't online, and just having access to a computer won't help you through the hurdles of filling them out if they were.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 7 months ago

It's lip service to keep the issue quiet.

Maddy Griffin 6 years, 7 months ago

When the Regurgicants say they want smaller government, they mean they want a government with NO safety nets. Cus that's the "Christian" thing to do, right?

LHS56 6 years, 7 months ago

I agree with the need of some to spend a day at the SRS office. I really don't know how the case workers are able to handle the after day. And yes, I think I've lived through some stressful situations.
I don't disagree that there are some that are taking advantage of the system. (I'm assuming you've heard of the cash/gold underground in Lawrence to save on taxes.) However, for the ones that are taking advantage of the system there is an equal number that really need help. I'm talking food for the table and a roof over their heads. And they are looking for work! If you want to help, protect our "borders" from the Kansas City folks that are dumping the homeless and poor in Lawrence. Ask a policeperson if you question that statement. Brownie is looking our for himself. We, and not you that choice to not be included, have a social obligation to help those in need. (And I consider myself a right winger. But I guess my family upbringing causes me see those that need help.)

conservative 6 years, 7 months ago

Misleading headline and ignorant posters. With Lawrence and Douglas County agreeing to pick up the tab for two years the offices are paid for for 2012 and Well into 2013. Why on Earth then would it be headlines he didn't ask for funding for 2012? The agreement was that he would ask for funding after those 2 years.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 7 months ago

Smaller government; we (at least 35% of those eligible) voted for this; get used to it.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 7 months ago

Secretary Siedlecki needs a little inservice. If you want something to be paid for, or at least considered, it needs to go in the budget request. I know he's from out-of-state, but I bet that's how it's done most places.

George_Braziller 6 years, 7 months ago

Yes, it absolutely goes into the budget request. You may not get all (or any) of the requested funding the first year but you have established the need.

The next year you cite the previous year's request, the partial (or non) funding, and ask that it be funded in full.

This is budget writing 101.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 7 months ago

I would like a brand new car, and I'm trying to get funding for it.

But there's no way it can be included in my budget.

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